The notorious life of international terrorist and mercenary Carlos The Jackal (Ramirez) gets an epic three-part film treatment, featuring dozens of characters, languages, and international locations. Beginning when he was little more than a dangerous thug from Venezuela with Marxist leanings (Part I), and ending with his nomadic exile and eventual arrest by the French authorities (Part III), "Carlos" tracks the saga of a daring, charismatic and highly controversial figure. The film's second section features a virtually minute-to-minute recreation of Carlos's infamous hostage-taking at an OPEC conference in 1975, which caught the attention of the entire world and made him an international celebrity.
Director Olivier Assayas's colorful and ambitious saga manages to capture all the complexities of 1970s geopolitics and still deliver a wildly entertaining and suspenseful ride. Even with a run time of five hours, this is one breathless, energetically paced outing, with plenty of action and suspense throughout — and all set to a killer period soundtrack. Edgar Ramirez's star-turn as Carlos is as bold and compelling as the film itself. A fascinating, vital piece of visual history and a gripping thriller all in one, "Carlos" fully merits your time and attention.